Griffith women kickstart Boobs 4 Brains for brain cancer research

A group of Griffith women bonded by a shared experience have banded together for a worthy cause

The group, made up of 20 breast cancer survivors and a friend who is battling brain cancer, have come together to raise money for the Charlie Teo Foundation, a non-profit working toward a cure for brain cancer. 

After their good friend Lisa Monahan was re-diagnosed with brain cancer, Frances Franco, Norma Catanzariti, Lisa Taliano and their friends were even more motivated to raise funds.

Mrs Monahan was diagnosed with brain cancer seven years ago, but discovered years later that it had returned. 

They said watching their friend fight cancer has become a driving force for the operation. 

Lisa and her dog Boz

Lisa and her dog Boz

”Just seeing her fighting. It’s given us that urge to fundraise and find that cure. She’s been such a battler.” 

She said the support from the community had already been incredible. 

“I just wanted to do something to fundraise for brain cancer. We called on a lot of ladies and they said yes. It’s been pretty special,” she said. 

“So much research and funding has been thrown at breast cancer, whereas we don’t have as much funding or research for brain cancer. We wanted to support that.” 

From there, Boobs4Brains was born. 

Brain cancer kills more young people under the age of 40 than almost any other cancer and the five-year survival rate sits at around 22 per cent. 

Norma Catanzariti feels the public needs to have more of an awareness for what brain cancer is and what it can do, especially after seeing her good friend fight the disease. 

“It affects a lot of people, from young to old. We don’t have enough research,” she said. 

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The group are planning on launching a special calendar on September 22 at a dinner dance. Many of the ladies have gotten involved in modelling. They say they’ve been everywhere around Griffith. 

“I now understand how hard it is to be a model. I went on all the girls’ shoots with them and watched Marie our photographer telling them to smile,” Mrs Franco said. 

“When it was my turn I realised how hard it was.” 

Lisa Taliano has also organised different artists to paint portraits of some of the women, to be auctioned off to support the same cause. They’ve got plans for a number of events throughout the year. 

“We’ve had hairdressers, make-up artists, photographers and videographers all come on board and donate their time,” Mrs Franco said. 

The group are also selling wristbands. Anyone interested in buying a wristband or making a pledge can contact Frances Franco at Elders Real Estate or Lisa Taliano at the Green Gecko.